Monday, March 1, 2010

From the peak of inflated expectations directly into the trough of disillusionment...

One of the tools we use with our clients is the "Gartner Hype Cycle". This diagram is an analytical approach to the emotions related to any change. Whether that change is a marriage, a new technology, implementing a database or changing your lifestyle, there is a predictable and often repeating set of emotions people go through. The two major components of the hype cycle are the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" during which we feel anything is possible and we dream big and shut out the realities of achieving the goal, and the "Trough of Disillusionment", the moments where we realize how hard the road is and we doubt our ability to complete the journey.

These reactions are normal and inevitable, but what we can control is how high we let ourselves get on the peak and how deep we get in the trough. Yesterday I was high on the peak as one could get, today I fell hard into the trough. And the hardest part of being in the trough today is I don't know how I got there.

There is a lot I don't understand about my body and the nerve damage, but the most confusing for me is how it seems to change day to day. It logically makes no sense, nerve functionality does not change from day to day. But for the last 14 years I have seen over and over again how some days my body cooperates, when I call on a muscle it works as it should, my coordination and balance are good and I can get by pretty easily. Then there are days like today, when every muscle requires thought to control, where my balance fails me and I feel like I am filled with cement. I hate these days!

I knew when I got up this morning it was one of those days, my walking was not quite as good as it has been lately, my hand was not holding things as well as it had been and I just didn't have that "bounce in my step" that friends have observed the last couple months. I tried to put it off on being sore from working out yesterday. As soon as I stepped on the treadmill at the gym I knew better!

In my "past life" on days like today I would have cancelled my work out with Gui and would have stayed home and limited my walking and more importantly interactions with others. Some changes aren't so good I guess. Because I went and worked out and now feel worse than where I started. Not only did I fight my body the whole time just to do simple exercises that I should be able to easily do, but was also miserable to be around doing it.

I have to give my trainer credit, he doesn't let me quit when I get in that spot and he tries harder than he should have to make me smile and laugh, which I am very grateful for, but it still leaves me feeling guilty. I hate pulling other people into my trough. It's why I get quiet, it's why I hide inside myself (or have my over compensating reaction like I had tonight at a class I attend...joking, smiling, pretending its all great while counting the minutes until I can escape and be alone). I hate to take it out on the innocent people around me, especially those I care about. It only makes it worse. And it scares me. I have driven people who matter away before when I got stuck in the trough, and I worry about ending up on this journey alone because I drive those trying to help me away when I get to this place.

I try so hard to be ok with the cards I have been dealt, I still believe what I said before, everything happens for a reason and I wouldn't trade where I have been. But despite that there are days like today where I have to admit I hate my body, I hate the surgeon who did this to me and never suffered any repricussions of any kind and I hate how much this all controls me at times.

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